Whoa! Mortgage Interest Rates going to 4.5%? Hold on for the ride.

While the Treasury Department considers purchasing of mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, smart homebuyers are filling their stockings with potential listings getting ready to pull the trigger on a home purchase.

4.5%!!! THIS IS A GIFT – better than Santa could ever deliver! With Tampa Bay Homes being priced so low, along with such a low interest rate, you can be sure you are getting the best deal out there.

The Treasury Department should decide soon and so keep shopping and be ready to make your decision to lock in one of the best rates our country has ever seen. Now this is the American dream and Christmas rolled into one!

Clearwater Beach is Awesome!

Bright sun. Bright blue sky. Bright white powder sand. These are the things that cross my mind when I think of Clearwater Beach. It’s sunny and dazzling; bustling with life and lots of fun. It’s not a lazy, quiet beach, although you could certainly find your place in the sun and nap the day away. At night, however, this beach stays awake and stays up late. People stroll the boardwalk, the pier and even swim late into the night. There is a nightly event (actually Thursday through Monday) called Sunsets at Pier 60, which starts a few hours before sunset and brings together local artists and craftsmen selling their work. Street performers and live music add to the festival feel. Pier 60 costs 50 cents to walk out to the end, and it’s well worth your coins. From the pier, you can watch dolphins splashing as well as see pelicans and herons diving for fish. Walk out to the end and you’ll find fishermen with their catch of the day.

Back on the beach, you may want to take a walk to a local seafood place and get something to eat. For a great grouper sandwich, walk over to one of the famous Frenchy’s Restaurants on Clearwater Beach. The first of these restaurants, Frenchy’s Original Cafe on Baymont, opened back in 1981. Since then, more have opened up. If it’s a beachy atmosphere you are looking for, then you’ve come to the right place. Wear your flip flops and feel right at home at Frenchy’s, where you’ll find picnic tables and a fun, casual decor.

So how do you get to Clearwater Beach? Just follow Highway 60 West till it dead ends at the beach. This barrier island is full of wonderful hotels, restaurants and condos. Living in Clearwater beach has to be a dream come true. Imagine stepping out of one of the Clearwater Beach condos to that bright blue water and powdery white sand…awesome…!

Curious about Clearwater Beach Condos for sale right now? Take a look at some of the amazing deals!

Miracle On 49th Street – St. Pete

Ethel Gillette of St. Petersburg was doing some routine shopping at her neighborhood Publix store on 49th Street in St. Petersburg recently when she realized she had a big problem. Her groceries were unloaded and while she was ready and willing to pay, she realized her credit card was missing from her purse.

Confused and embarrassed, she was ready to put them all back when a complete stranger tapped her on the shoulder and without hesitation paid the $102.07 bill to the clerk for her. Ethel was in shock and pleaded with the stranger for her name and address so that she could pay her back. The woman quietly said, “There is no need for that; I can afford to do this”. She smiled and was gone.

Ethel was “touched by an angel” and so were all the people behind her in line, as well as the clerk in the Publix store. She said, “Life is a series of moments and events. If we touch others and our moments are noble and we pass this one to others, we have placed incentives that have a domino effect.”

At a time when our newspaper is filled with doom and gloom, this was such a refreshing story to wake up to today. Was it a miracle? Probably not. But it certainly was more than just a random act of kindness as the headlines suggest. This is the true meaning of Christmas and I suspect that Ethel will be looking for someone to help this season.

Asbestos Removal and Greener Alternatives

There are many things to consider when remodeling or purchasing an older home. Homes built before 1980 have the strong likelihood of containing asbestos. Due to a steady progression of technology and green sustainable methods, there are many ways to ensure your home or property is asbestos free. If you are interested in saving money, remodeling and improving your carbon footprint, here is some information to get you on the right track.

Used in millions of homes throughout the last quarter of the 20th century, asbestos insulation can become a real dilemma for homeowners due to causing a variety of health problems, including Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Malignant Mesothelioma. These types of cancer take the lives of thousands each year.

Non-regulated asbestos material can be legally performed by homeowners, regular contractors, or licensed asbestos abatement contractors as long as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. Asbestos removal in public facilities, homes and workplaces must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. Once the removal is complete, green insulation options should be given serious consideration, such as: Cellulose, Cotton Fiber and Lcynene.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), in a study conducted in 2003, estimated a savings of $50-$65 per square foot for well-constructed green buildings in the U.S. (see table below) during that year. The numbers continue to improve as
more eco-friendly options become available, and those kinds of figures have finally begun to attract those who thought eco-friendly construction was just a bunch of hogwash.

This article was submitted by:
Ben Grayson
National Awareness Coordinator
Mesothelioma Cancer Center